The Horse

FEB 2018

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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8 TheHorse.com THE HORSE February 2018 NEWSFRONT Inquiries to: 859/276-6726 E-Mail: News@TheHorse.com ERICA LARSON, News Editor @TH_EricaLarson Horse Breed and Colic Risk A horse is a horse (of course, of course), except, perhaps, when it comes to his risk for suffering from different colic types. "Clinical impression suggests that some gas- trointestinal lesions are more common in certain types of horses," said Bettina Dunkel, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, ECEIM, ACVECC, FHEA, MRCVS, of the U.K.'s Royal Veterinary College. Recently, she and colleagues explored the connection between breed and these lesions, reviewing the medical records of 575 horses diagnosed with a variety of types. They classified equids as Miniature-type (less than 11 hands), pony (11–14.2 hands), Arabian, light-breed (largely Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods), or draft-type. The team found that: ■ Miniatures were most likely to experience large colon impactions and colitis (inflam- mation) but rarely developed strangulating lesions in the small intestine. ■ Ponies appeared predisposed to strangulat- ing small intestine lesions, typically involving a lipoma (fatty tumor). Dunkel found this surprising, given Miniature horses rarely experienced these. ■ Light breeds were most at risk for experienc- ing right or left dorsal large colon displace- ments. "We suspect that the high frequency of displacements is due to the shape of the abdomen and size of the horse," she said. ■ Draft horses were most affected by large intestine diseases (displacements and volvu- lus) and cecum lesions. Dunkel cautioned that this study only de- scribes the odds of specific lesions occurring: "Even if a certain lesion is rare in a certain type of horse or pony, it can still occur and must not be missed." Read more at TheHorse.com/40029. —Katie Navarra "If an endurance horse goes lame, owners should get the lameness investigated as soon as possible to allow timely diagnosis, targeted treatment, and, hopefully, earlier return to work," said Annamaria Nagy, DrMedVet, PhD, Dipl. ACVSMR, FR- CVS, of the Animal Health Trust (AHT), in Newmarket, U.K. In the study Nagy, along with Sue Dyson, MA, Vet MB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS, head of clinical orthopedics at AHT, and Jane K. Murray, BScEcon, MSc, PhD, of the University of Bristol School of Veterinary Science, surveyed endurance riders about their horses' veterinary problems. They found that 80% of the 190 horses had a lameness issue affect their endurance careers, and more than half had been lame in the last year. Riders of 147 horses described their most recent lameness episode in detail. Veterinarians identified 76% of those cases, Nagy said, and 56% of the cases resulted in race elimination. Of the cases vets initially identified, the team found that owners sought further invesigation and treatment for only 52%. Of the horses that re- ceived veterinary care, only 22% were examined imme- diately. Most owners chose to rest their horses before seeking care: 44% waited a week before calling the vet; 7% waited two weeks; and nearly 28% waited longer than that. "The fact that there's lame- ness itself isn't that surpris- ing in this population, as it's common in all disciplines," said Nagy. "But the magni- tude of the problem—80% of riders reporting lameness— and the fact that they weren't getting investigated were surprising." Veterinarians most com- monly diagnosed tendon and ligament injuries (21% of cases) and foot pain (20%). Thirteen percent of cases in- volved joint pain. Sacroiliac pain and stress fractures were less common. Nagy said further research on a global level is in the planning phases. Rider education about recognizing lameness and the importance of treating such issues early could lead to better care and welfare for these horses, Nagy said. Find more study results at TheHorse.com/40037. — Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA Some Endurance Horses Lack Lameness Care, Study Shows I t's no surprise that the most common health issue among endurance horses is lameness. What's un- expected, however, is that in a recent study involving English and Welsh horses, nearly half of the lameness cases never received veterinary evaluation or treatment. Researchers found that 80% of the survey respondents' horses had a lameness issue affect their endurance careers. IAN WIGLEY/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS ISTOCK.COM

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